The University of Houston Downtown (UHD) is seeking a visionary leader with a proven commitment to student success and student life. The Vice President, Student Success and Student Life (VP) reports to the President and serves on the executive management team. The VP is responsible for strategic leadership of a division that takes a fully coordinated approach to supporting UHD students and their success across the student services and student engagement portfolio, and is responsible for leading the University’s continued development of student success and engagement strategies for enhancing access, retention, student affairs, student learning, student success, and graduation. The VP will work collaboratively with the University’s diverse stakeholders to develop and implement innovative approaches for supporting students’ entry to the University, removing barriers to their progress, and enhancing their academic journey while providing a student-centered learning environment.
The VP, Student Success and Student Life will:
Oversee critical functions related to the support of student success, including, but not limited to, career, testing, disability, and tutoring and retention services; counseling and health services; veterans services; sports and fitness, and student activities; the Center for Diversity and Inclusion; and the Dean of Students. The VP will also have the unique opportunity to launch new student-centered facilities, which may include residential life, a student union, a wellness center, and a childcare center.
Develop, manage, and support the growth of a diverse divisional team with a reputation for caring, responsiveness, flexibility, and expertise.
Work as a critical partner with the chief academic officer, academic leaders, and faculty to plan for, establish, and facilitate co-curricular offerings that align with the University curriculum.
Partner campus-wide to deliver professional development and information in support of student affairs, student success, retention, and degree completion.
Integrate best practices in student success as appropriate for an HSI and MSI which serves a large first-generation population.
Lead efforts in the use of data analytics to continuously assess effectiveness of student services initiatives, processes, and procedures.
Develop and maintain a culture of service excellence, communication, transparency, collegiality, and accountability.
Continue the University’s successful work in building campus spirit and traditions.
The position requires a Master's degree from an accredited institution; minimum of ten years of higher education leadership; experience at the Dean/Executive Director level or higher; demonstrated experience with current educational trends, student success strategies, and a proven track record increasing student achievement and development, especially for historically underserved populations; and demonstrated experience with decision-making, data analytics and management skills in a complex organization.
Preferred Qualifications include an earned Doctorate in Higher Education Administration, Student Affairs Administration, Education, Organizational Leadership, or a closely related field from an accredited institution; experience in campus crisis management; leadership in fostering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by building an inclusive and supportive environment for students, faculty, and staff; experience in leading the expansion of learning support and student engagement in distance education and online learning environments; experience in envisioning, developing, and managing student-centered facilities; and the ability to work with academic and community leaders to further develop collaborative University initiatives.
The ideal candidate will present with the knowledge of and familiarity with the sociological issues facing urban, underrepresented, first- generation, and low-income persons in college and in the community. They will also have a demonstrated commitment to increased diversity, equity and inclusion; will be a self-starter with a “builder” mentality, bringing a diverse strategy that encompasses inventive student success models; will be open, transparent, approachable, engaging, and responsive with the ability to foster excitement in others; will be student centered with a deep passion for student success and the student experience; and will have an appreciation for serving the educational needs of an economically and demographically diverse population, particularly in urban settings.
The second-largest university in Houston, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year, urban university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. UHD is a community of diverse faculty, staff, students, and regional partners dedicated to nurturing talent, generating knowledge, and driving socioeconomic mobility for a just and sustainable future. Located in the heart of downtown, UHD offers bachelor’s and select master’s degree programs and provides strong academic and career preparation as well as lifelong learning opportunities.
UHD educates approximately 15,000 students annually. With more than 77% of UHD’s students coming directly from Harris County, UHD is not just a university in Houston, but Houston’s University and an Anchor Institution for the region.
UHD is recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military-Friendly School. While the student population is largely Hispanic at 53% and African-American at 20%, more than 64 countries are represented. Furthermore, UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston, and its graduates have the lowest student loan debt in the state.
UHD is one of the four distinct and separate components of the University of Houston System, which also includes the University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and University of Houston-Victoria. Instructional Sites operated by UHD are University of Houston-Downtown Northwest, University of Houston-Downtown at Lone Star College-Kingwood, and University of Houston-Downtown at Lone Star College-Woodlands.
The University of Houston System (UHS) is the region’s largest provider of comprehensive university services, from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. UHS serves more than 72,000 students, has an annual budget that exceeds $1.7 billion, and produces a $6 billion-plus economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.The UH System’s research and scholarship are globally significant, nationally competitive, and serve as an engine for economic development, while its public service activities enhance the quality of life in the region.
The Search Committee invites letters of interest and nominations to be submitted directly to the search firm, Anthem Executive. Correspondence must include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position, and should be submitted to:
While applications and nominations may be accepted until a new Vice President is selected, interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials to the address above by November 11, 2022, to assure optimal consideration. Expressing interest is the first step in receiving consideration and does not make one an applicant for the position.
UHD is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to employees, applicants for employment, and service providers without regard to age, disability, gender, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam War Era Veteran.
Anthem Executive is a minority and veteran owned nationwide executive search and consulting firm. We work across a cadre of sectors, including higher education, health sciences and healthcare, non-profit, government, corporate and Fortune 100s, global software and services and technology, private equity, insurance, service and manufacturing, oil and gas, EPC and construction, hospitality and retail, and other sectors.